In Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys, sociologist Victor M. Rios reports, “In an era of, ‘personal responsibility’ when schools, police and community members could not guarantee the boys success, nurturing, or security, the one thing that these agencies of social control could do was inculcate in the boys a sense of self-blame. The boys were taught that poverty, victimization, criminalization, and neglect were products of their own actions. The boys internalized these messages, and in turn they all reported feeling personally responsible for their plight” (71).
First, explain Rios’ reporting of the boys’ self-assessments. Do you agree or disagree with their analysis of their own predicaments? Use evidence from your reading to support your argument.
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